Department of Physics & Astronomy


Welcome to the Department of Physics & Astronomy

Physics is the study of matter and energy at all scales, from the sub-nuclear to the dimensions of the universe. It is the fundamental science — all other sciences and technologies rely on the principles of physics.

Physics involves observing and understanding natural phenomena. It is evident in the world around us in everything from the seasons, the motion of objects, the flight of birds, the night sky and the weather, to lasers, electronics and the technology we rely on today. Astronomy teaches you how to study objects at a distance and interpret the information gathered. This helps us begin to understand the universe we live in. The skills you will learn in astronomy are also applicable to remote sensing and its application to environmental problems.

Department Highlights

Novel U of L instrument design published in Review of Scientific Instruments

An innovative concept developed by the University of Lethbridge’s Astronomical Instrumentation Group (AIG) was recently published in the prestigious Review of Scientific Instruments, a peer-reviewed scientific journal published by the American Institute of Physics (AIP) now in its 90th year. Although published by the AIP, the Review of Scientific Instruments is unique in that it reports on novel instrumentation from all branches of science and, as a result, has a high acceptance threshold.

The paper, titled An angle-scanned cryogenic Fabry-Pérot interferometer for far-infrared astronomy, by Dr. Ian Veenendaal (BSc ’13, MSc ’16, PhD ’20) et al, presents a novel design for a Fabry-Pérot Interferometer (FPI). An FPI is a spectrometer that is able to obtain high-resolution spectral images of distant astronomical sources, allowing astrophysicists to look back in time to study the formation and evolution of galaxies.

Alicia Anderson

With support and resilience, Anderson excels through adversity

While learning is the essence of a post-secondary experience, it is not limited to what is found in textbooks or studied in the lab. For Alicia Anderson (BSc ’20), discovering the depth of her resilience might just be the most poignant lesson of the last five years.

Anderson, who has already started her master’s program at the University of Lethbridge, completed her undergraduate degree this spring working with Dr. David Naylor as part of the Astronomical Instrumentation Group in the Department of Physics & Astronomy. She also balanced five years of backstopping the Pronghorns women’s hockey program as one of the most accomplished goaltenders in Canada West history.

Boris P. Stoicheff Memorial Graduate Scholarship

Boris P. Stoicheff Memorial Graduate Scholarship

Congratulations Matthew Robbins!

The CAP is pleased to announce that the 2020 Stoicheff Scholarship is awarded to Matthew Robbins, University of Waterloo, for leadership in developing the theory of Bose-Einstein condensates as a novel detector of gravitational waves that would open a new window on the universe for astronomical observations.

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Career Bridge | Co-operative Education & Applied Studies

Career Bridge


Put Your Knowledge to Work 

Whether you’re looking for a more in-depth learning experience by assisting with research projects on campus or by testing your knowledge in a real-life work setting, we can help! The programs available in the Career Bridge office will provide you with a solid foundation for further studies and an excellent framework for a challenging and rewarding career — whatever direction you decide to go. Explore career options, participate in research and develop skills that complement your degree.

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